Dana Baugh describes herself as...
A self-proclaimed designer who also loves to get her hands dirty. She thrives in a creative environment and loves the creative process with all its twists and turns and highs and lows. To some, the thought of design may seem glamorous, but Dana enjoys the mess that clay makes and getting hands-on with a sanding belt or belt saw. She likes to figure out the intricacies about how things work to improve upon or utilise them for her own designs. This country girl is always on the go and is passionate about what she does, both at her job for Sandals and for her own initiative: Baughaus::Design Studio.
Her creativity, she reckons, comes from her father David and her entrepreneurial spirit and drive from her mother Jenepher.
And her journey to design...
Born into a creative family I was always encouraged to create. My love for ceramics started from a young age when my father gave me some clay and a small wheel to experiment with and told me about a distant relative named Cecil Baugh. Somewhere along the path I got sidetracked; however, I decided to return to my passion for design in 2008 and applied to The Interior Design programme at Parson's, the New School in New York. I was fortunate enough at the time; my employer, Sandals Resorts, believed in my potential and decided to grant me a scholarship to pursue my dream. I returned home in 2010 and rejoined the company as a junior designer and am now the group merchandiser and trainer for the resort shops at Sandals.
Constantly in creative mode...
Like all creative people I felt the need to keep designing, making things that reflected my design sensibilities. With a love for my island home and the preservation of our culture and the environment, I am constantly experimenting with natural and renewable materials such as industrial felt and bamboo, using them in unconventional ways to make unique home goods and accessories that reflect my life as a Jamaican. In February of this year, I decided to take my concepts off paper and bring them to life. Since then, I have set up my garage studio, where I work until the wee hours of the morning.
My designs are what I would call 'Jamaican Modern', as they are either a reinterpretation of traditional Jamaican culture, art or materials, or the application of modern materials to the traditional. My design style can be described as graphic, modern, tropical, boldly colourful, at times, and a little whimsical.
Who or what inspires you?
I internalise everything and it all gets mixed up in my head and then what comes out is an interpretation of my experiences. That said, I love all forms of art and design, but am influenced by a few designers and schools of thought, such as Eva Zeisel, Jonathan Adler, Gene Pearson, Paola Lenti, Patricia Urquiola, Scandinavian design, The Bauhaus, the Eameses, Gladmark, and traditional forms of Jamaican handcraft such as crochet, hand-woven mats and the beauty of the island itself. Inspiration is endless.
In what kind of space does she envisage her Ital tableware collection and Urchin pendant light and felt chair?
The products speak to individuals who appreciate the visual arts, a modern aesthetic and desire unique pieces that express their personality and culture. The simplicity of the designs allows them to be used in almost any space, but they are most at home in tropical modern spaces. These types of spaces have natural, warm elements throughout and are inviting and comfortable to live in. The Urchin is just at home in a residential dining room or a chic boutique hotel where it can make a defining statement, whereas ITAL is organic and brings something fun and unexpected to the table. The felt chair, I would say, is more a statement piece for someone who is a collector and appreciates modern design.
Apprehension about her first showing...
This will be my very first showing in Jamaica and I am using the Health Home and Garden Expo as a launching pad for my line. I have never put my work on display in such an open forum before and I am excited about showcasing the designs and anxious to see the reaction from the public.
See the collection of Baughaus Design Studio - all designed and hand-made in Jamaica by Dana M Baugh at Health, Home & Garden, Jamaica Magazine's Expo 2012.
National Arena, October 26-28.